We went to Vienna by train from Prague Central Station (Hlavní Nádraží) and arrived at Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof) which took around eight hours journey. Thank God, there was a charger on each seat – I could take care of my essay at that time to overcome my boredom on the train.
After checked in, we craved for the traditional schnitzel while we were here – our host recommended to give Figlmüller a shot. The Figlmüller on Bäckerstraße (1) was located on the main road so that there was a long queue and we fortunately stood there not more than five minutes. We had a portion of Wiener Schnitzel of veal for two (the portion was a bit too much if each of us had a single meal) with a potato-field salad with pumpkin seed oil which were verrrryyy yummy. For the record, the restaurant also served other traditional Viennese dishes other than their signature schnitzels.
Not feeling full yet, we turned into Cafe Diglas on Flesichmarkt for some delicious desserts.
There is always room for dessert, isn't it?
Our craving for apple strudel was unsuccessful because we arrived at the cafe too late – most of the most wanted desserts were already sold out. A cheese-filled scheiterhaufen (2) soaked by warm vanilla sauce, a cupful of hot chocolate, and an earl grey hot tea were our companies that evening.
(1): The Figlmüller have two locations in Vienna that are not far from each other. The other and older one is located in Wollzeile which is often referred to "The Home of the Schnitzel". As the Wollzeile one has been serving in 1905, they only offer 14 expertly prepared traditional Viennese dishes.
(2): a sweet bread pudding – also known as German apple bread pudding.
Our second day, we went out a little earlier to start strolling around the city. The nearest station of Vienna U-Bahn (3) from us was the Schwedenplatz station then we bought our 24-hour Vienna ticket at the multilingual ticket machines for € 8.00 of each adult. From Schwedenplatz, we got off at the Hietzing station since the Albertina museum was the first place for our today's go-to places. But breakfast first, we stumbled upon this hip greenery glasshouse restaurant. Since it was on a weekday and not too crowded like on the weekend, we directly got a table for two at Palmenhaus.
(3): U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn) means the underground railway in Vienna including the conventional rapid transit systems that run mostly underground.
Basic breakfast meals for us – the bio-crunchy muesli with yogurt and fruits for me and the Viennese style breakfast of handmade croissants with butter, honey, and homemade jam for my sister. The ambiance was attractive with all the glass and plants – including the gigantic palms! – inside the restaurant along with the natural sunlight through the ceilings.
Just a little walk from the restaurant, we can get to the Albertina museum. There were some masterpieces of Monet, Picasso, Cézanne and others there. I am not much a fan of museums but this one room of photographic collection fascinated me with the in-depth meaningful photos with the written stories on the wall. I also experienced to see the animations of Monet and Picasso's artworks using the Augmented Reality app by holding my phone in front of the paintings.
Another craving for one of the Viennese culinary specialties, yes.. the famous Sacher Torte (4) it is!
We found this Sacher Eck Wien which was not far from the museum and got the table on the second floor with plush red velvet seating and beautiful chandeliers. We shared a slice of Sacher Torte and a teapot of Original Sacher Tea – exquisite darjeelings refined with a hint of earl grey and jasmine blossoms. The cake was OK and not as moist as I thought but at least we have tasted it once in our lifetime. Since the Sacher tea was very scrumptious, I bought a box of 80 grams Original Sacher Tea at the gift shop to brew it at home.
Stopped at the Schloss Beldevere station to our last touristy destination of the day – Belvedere Palace. The historic building complex consists of Baroque Palaces of Lower Beldevere and Upper Beldevere with a big gardens area. Because the lower was still on renovation that day, we strolled around the upper place and the gardens. The whole place was beautiful with the touch of the authentic classic interior.
(4): a classic Austrian chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam or preserves. Traditionally, the cake is also served with unsweetened whipped cream.
While walking back home, we ended up the long day – which was our last night in Vienna – with a bowl of hot beef pho in Pho Lala on Laurenzerberg to warm our body among the cold weather outside.